Investigators in Texas are in a desperate hunt for a serial shooter they blame for five shootings, one of them fatal, in less than a week.
But until the manhunt is successful, the shooter likely will continue to terrorize the Houston area, an expert on serial killers told The Huffington Post.
"An individual like this typically won't stop until they are apprehended or killed," said Scott A. Bonn, a professor of sociology and criminology at Drew University, in New Jersey. "This individual is angry and likely has a vendetta against someone or some organization," Bonn said.
Bonn authored Why We Love Serial Killers, offering insight into why infamous predators are sometimes portrayed as ghoulish pop culture celebrities.
"The fact that he is striking out publicly and randomly is an indication of rage," said Bonn.
The five shootings appear to be random. All have been in the Houston metropolitan area. Despite a composite sketch, growing media exposure and intense police efforts, the shooter has escaped capture.
The first incident occurred in Missouri City on Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., when the gunman took aim and attempted to fire at a 21-year-old college student. The intended victim, who did not wish to be identified, told ABC13.com that he was walking down a street when a man got out of a vehicle and pointed a gun at him.
"When he pulled the trigger, it started clicking," the man said. "Then he started hitting the gun and … that's when I took off."
Thirty minutes later, someone shot 34-year-old Pak Ho during a drive-by shooting some 20 miles away, in Houston. Before he died at a hospital, Ho gave investigators a description of the shooter that matched the one given by the college student, police said.
Three hours after Ho's shooting, another individual was shot in the thigh area. The attack took place roughly 10 miles from where Ho was killed, police said.
On Feb. 18, at about 1 a.m., police were called to another shooting in southwest Houston. The victim, who was shot while waiting at a bus stop, survived. According to police, the shooting occurred approximately one mile from where Ho was shot.
The most recent shooting, police said, occurred at about 7:30 p.m. Monday, when a gunman shot someone in Missouri City.
“Based on the information we do have, it’s very likely these five cases are related,” Houston police Sgt. Tommy Ruland said at a news conference Wednesday.
While authorities say they do not have a suspect or person of interest, they have released a suspect sketch based on witness descriptions.
“We’re looking for a black male, light skin, possible mixed race, stocky build, early 30s,” Ruland said. He said investigators believe the gunman is driving a dark 1999 to 2006 Jeep Cherokee.
Because the attacks occurred near each other, authorities said they suspect the gunman may still be in the area.
"I would not walk alone if it were me,” Ruland said. “I would walk in groups. Be aware of your surroundings.”
Ruland said authorities know of no motive in the shootings.
Bonn said the shooter likely feels powerless.
This "spree may be a way of exercising power and control in his life," Bonn said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Houston Police Department Homicide Division at 713-308-3600, or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS to be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.